on 2 July 2002
Having been fortunate enough to play the japanese version, "winning eleven 6", i can assure you the european version is going to be well worth your hard earned cash. Those of you who have played the original will know it is the most addictive and best football game ever released.... until now! I personally didn't think they could improve, but konami have done it, and in style. The freekicks are easier to take advantage of with a new targetting system added to make scoring much more possible. The graphics have also been greatly improved and many of the teams, such as Argentina now have their proper names so you can be Batistuta instead of Buatista!! As for open gameplay, the basics are still the same, but the horrible stumbles when your tackled have been taken out, to keep the game smoothly going like a premiership match, rather than a division 3 one! Also attributes will be more clear, so classic long range shots from the likes of Scholes will be a common occurance, and Beckhams freekicks will curve like never before.
Outside of the matches, the training mode has also been improved to help you actually learn from it, rather than just shooting at keepers. And one of the biggest changes is the master league, that now comprises of 3 divisions instead of 2, to make a bigger challenge, and players cost more, making it harder to get a championship winning side together. Of course the European version is to be released later and so small additions probably will be made, player names, and likenesses being the most likely.
on 24 July 2002
In recent years, FIFA has been the dominant force in terms of sales. The fact that it contains below average gameplay didn't seem to put people off, until now.
Last November the Pro Evolution series came to the PS2, and finally FIFA's dominance began to slip away. More and more people began to realise whtat they had been missing out on. Even now, 9 months on, PES remains in the top 20 charts. Of cause now there is a sequal coming, and it promises to be even better.
PS2er's who are lucky enough to have played the import of Winning Eleven 6 will know just how good PES2 is going to be. A few of the new features to note are:
- A brand new 3rd division in the popular Master League mode
- 8 new club teams (including Aston Villa, Celtic and Rangers)
- Over 50 National Teams including all of those from this years World Cup
- Much improved commentary over the appaling Chris James and Terry Butcher (most likely will be John Champion and Mark Lawrencen)
- Even smoother animations, with special "signature" moves for certain players (i.e. David Beckham dragging his left foot under his right when taking a free kick)
- Tweaked gameplay giving an extra feeling of control
- Ability to modify almost everything, including Kits, Flags and ALL Players names. You can also now create up to 10 custom teams
These new and improved features are more than enough to make PES2 a MUST purchase for all true football fans. But be warned, if you are new to the series, don't be put of by the seemingly comlicated play. All PES games must be played for at least a month before the pleasure comes. If you have never played before you will probably find that you won't win any matches for at least a couple of days, even on the easiest difficulty. But soon enough you will begin to master the realistic style of the game, and pass the ball to create chances instead of just racing down the field with one player and shooting (like you would in FIFA). Once you get the hang of the game, I guarantee you won't ever look back, and you won't stop playing PES2 until PES3 comes out.
on 25 October 2002
Whether you know it or not, you fall into one of two camps. You either want your footie game to look great or play great. Traditionally, ISS & Pro Evo games have concentrated on the latter. Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), when it came out last year, not only hit new heights in gameplay, but looked fabulous too.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2 (PES2) has improved upon both looks and gameplay.
Anyone who has played PES will know how addictive it is and how it's in a league of it's own because of it's superior gameplay. Anyone who has played PES since the day of it's release last year, will also know that there was still a degree of clunkiness in the game. PES2 has ironed out almost every niggle and added many great new features.
If you need your players faces to look exactly accurate and you need kits with actual sponsors names, there are other games in which eye-candy abounds.
If you want the most addictive, most realistic and gripping PS2 football experience on the planet, Pro Evolution Soccer 2 is a must-have. The realism has to be experienced to be believed.
I have heard MANY accounts of players who have migrated to the PES series. I have NEVER heard of a single gamer abandoning it for it's competition.
on 4 November 2002
If you've ever played Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) you know what your in for here. Simply the greatest football experience to be had. PES2 is the Real Madrid of the football console world and everything else is Torquay United (Sorry Torquay fans). FIFA may have improved this year but still cannot compare to the exquisite through balls, delicatley precise lob shots and prefectly timed slide tackles of PES2.
The improvements aren't dramatic from the original but why change a winning formula? Konami have gone about addressing the annoying niggles from the first game such as when your player got tackled and stood on the spot in shock for half an hour while your opponent was legging it down the pitch with the ball. Instead now when your tackled you can instanlty try and address the problem and win the ball back. Its simple tweaks such as this that let you know your witnessing a special game.
Everybody who is anybody knows the key to PES was the superb master league mode. Here you started of with a well known European club with a bunch of no-hope sunday league players. The aim was to aquire points by winning to buy better and more skillful players (Ronaldo, Beckham, Zidane, Roberto Carlos, etc). Such a simple idea proved to be a huge sucess with friends comparing how good their teams were and challenging each other to see who's team really was better. Extra teams such as Galatasary and Spartak Moscow have been added this year and the format is now in three divisions making the lifespan of the game HUGE. These extra teams seem to give the master league more of a 'champions league' feel and the game is much better for it. There are now also cup competitions to spice up the action further. Other improvements include the new UMBRO pro training centre where you can test your skills in a number of smaller challenges such as free kicks, dribbling, etc. There are also rewards to be earned from completing certain goals. It's also worth noting the editor is much improved over the last game with players, club names and even the club flags allowed to be fiddled with now giving you much more freedom to create the team you support if they aren't in the game.
Well, nothings perfect and even PES2 has it's faults. Biggest of all is that it seems the squads for the international and club sides HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED!!! This is simple not on with Rob Lee and Warron Barton still playing for Newcastle!!! It's such a minor problem that easily could have been addressed with a bit of time and effort. Shame on you Konami. Some of the players names still aren't correct either due to licenses and I know this will annoy hardcore fans. For some reason every Dutch player in the game is incorrect with the name set as "Oranges 12", "Oranges 84", etc. Free kicks are still impossible to score from and those bloody giant flags are still waved from behind the goals!!! NO ONE HAS A FLAG THAT BIG KNOAMI!!! The commentary is better but still poor. What do you expect with Trevor 'West Ham' Brooking on th mic though?
So overall PES2 is bigger and better than the last game. It's not a huge step forward but what did you expect? A few minor niggles could easily have been addressed but wouldn't have affected the game dramatically. The gameplay is superb and it's miraculous how Konami have managed to improve it further. Any football fan should not be able to live without this. If you have the original game trade it in and put the cash towards this new version. And when you do buy the game and load it up, play that first match and reach full time. Before instantly bashing the controller to start your next game of many though, sit back and think "how on earth are they going to improve PES3...???"
on 26 October 2002
I eagerly tore open the packaging and played PES2 the second it came through the front door, and was instantly impressed. the opening scene is superb, with 'we will rock you' by queen thundering on behind.
The presentation is very impressive, with fantastically detailed stadia( flares, banners etc), and players the resemble their real life counterparts. My only gripe on this front is the lack of real club and some player names, which are depressingly still held by the far inferior Fifa franchise. However, anyone who buys iss is buying it for its renowned gameplay, ahead of the 'all style no substance' Fifa. However their is an option to rename players/clubs, and its worth it for the big name clubs and players, to add a sense of realism.
Gameplay, is almost perfect. one feature i was disappointed with, however, was the return to the 'hold down the button for more power' system, as opposed to the use of the analogue buttons seen in the first ISS on ps2, where the harder you press them, the harder the shot/pass is. Whilst not a big problem, it would have been nice to have the option. passing and movement is first rate, with ultra realistic turns and passes going astray, accompanied by superlative charecter modelling for the different types of pass. Tackles also require alot more skill to 'connect', with 3 out of every 5 sliding tackles bringing a free kick. I have not even started to explore the skill moves yet, but they include one-two's, trap'n'turn, and other such skills seen regularly in the league at the weekend.
What most impressed me however, was the intelligence of the computer on your part, whereby a player finishes exactly how they would in real life. Vieri tends to blast it past the keeper into the roof of the net, whilst henry will slide it past the oncoming keeper, and jump over the said keepers prone body (a lovely effect to watch). Players also have a whole range of stats, (out of 99) which were apparently supplied by Sports interactive, those who brought us the ultra realism of championship manager, and it shows.
The game modes are varied, with a choice of friendly, league training and editing features. The editing features are also well done, allowing changes to team kits, and flags.
however, the best part is the master league, where you take your team (for me it was inter) and start in division three, with a bunch of unknowns and try and work your way up through the leagues, buying and selling players on the way.
The commentary and sound are very good, with peter brackley and trevor brooking applying themselves nicely, with only a few instances of repetition. A nice touch is the ability to bias the commentator to a team. (think big ron during any man utd game). For some reason, irritating dance music plays throughout the replays, and is infuriating after the 3rd or 4th time.
In terms of longviety, the master league seems like it will take a while to master, with the ability to chop and change your squad adding to the long term appeal. however, i cannot judge yet, as i have had it for a day.
Overall, PES2 is easily worth the price, and far far superior to Fifa 2003. And at amazons fantastic price ..treat yourself to a truly fantastic game.
on 12 November 2002
I've never understood why the FIFA series of games sells like proverbial hot cakes. Surely the youth of today will see through the shallow star endorsements and buy PES2?
They probably won't. Sadly, they're missing out. Konami's football games are usually top-notch, and the original PES for the PS2 has held my attention for the past year, still as fresh as ever in two player mode with a houseful of friends.
It's difficult to pinpoint what makes PES2 so great, but the best way to explain it is.... the little things. The extra frames of animation here and there. The improved goal celebrations. The extra stadiums. Fans cheering the home team and booing the away team. If you're a hardcore football fan, then you notice these little things with a smile slowly spreading across your face.
I tend to hear the same gripes about this game as I did the first...
1: Poor commentary. Well, it's better than before, but it is still woeful. However, having enjoyed the old "J-League" import games on the N64 and the insane commentary, I decided to switch the commentary to Spanish. Much, much better. Listen to the lungs on that guy if you score a golden goal winner.
2: Unofficial player names. There are more correct player names in PES2 than the original, but one notable glitch is that all of the Dutch team are called "Oranjes" followed by a three digit number. However, in the age of the internet it is easy enough to find the correct player names and change them, should you desire. I would argue that this game would still be fantastic with totally fictional players.
3: Wrong team names. This is a licensing problem, but in this version of PES you can edit the team names to what they should be. Takes ten minutes, easy. You can also edit team kits etc.
So, all gripes easily sorted : )
Seriously, the original PES was close to footballing perfection. If you want a game for sheer, unadulterated, joyous gameplay alone, then please buy this game. The Master League is greatly improved, free kicks are more user friendly, there is a greater emphasis on skill when running with the ball, defense is more of a challenge than before... I really can't say enough great things about this game. If you watch football on TV all week, go to a stadium on a Saturday and occassional wednesday, play on a Sunday morning and consider football to be more important than life itself... then you will see why this game is so amazing.
Forget the FIFA series, with the flashy endorsements and TV adverts. This game is a victory for the smaller guy.
on 4 September 2003
foolishly, i've just tralled through all the other reviews for this game trying to remember if i had written one before!!! and i hadn't!!! in doing so, i got gradually more and more frustrated for people picking apart this game for the most petty and pathetic reasons
1) 'the transfers aren't up to date'
2) 'the club team names are all wrong'
3) 'the dutch palyers are all called oranges...'
4) 'the commentary is rubbish'
i will now give you people an easy step-by-step guide on how to overcome these 'problems' (stop me if i'm getting too patronising!!)
1) if this really does bother you enough to criticise the game as a whole, you've missed the whole point of the GAME of football. see that word i put in block capitals, that's what football is, a GAME. Pro Evolution Soccer 2 provides the most accurate simulation of the game of football that can be found on any console, ever. it manages to accurately represent all sides of the game, from flamboyant free-scoring attacking displays, like Real Madrid, to swift and lethal counter attacking in the style of Arsenal, to resolute defensive displays like the giants from Italy. the inclusion of the most recent transfers would certainly be welcomed, but it is by no means a necessity.
2) for god's sake, you can change them!!!! if you are any sort of a football fan, you should be able to work out the real names from the players they have, as they're mostly (see above) up to date!!! ten minutes tops!!!!
3) yeah they could've done better with this i guess. but again if it bothers you enough take the time to change them, the national side shouldn't be too much trouble, although the squad players of Feyenoord and PSV are more tricky.
4) Turn it off. Commentary in football games is always rubbish.
the bottom line is that pro Evolution soccer 2 will not be bettered as a digital recreation of the game of football until Pro Evolution Soccer 3 in Novemeber 2003. While the fifa series relies too heavily on fancy endorsements and licensing to present what it claims to be an 'authentic experience', the result is gameplay that is too souless and dull. the problem with all the fifa games is they feel too artificial and clunky. When you're playing Pro Evolution Soccer you feel like you're playing football. when you're playing FIFA 2003, it still feels like a football game.
FIFA will always have its fans - indeed quite a few have made themselves heard on these pages, but if you consider yourself someone who really knows, understands the game of football, i believe you will regard Pro evolution soccer as the greatest football game available at the moment.
on 1 November 2002
This is by far the best football game money can buy!!! I have played FIFA football for many years and was dubious when i purchased the first pro evolution soccer, but i thought stuff it i'll try it. I couldn't get into PES straight away and didn't play it that much as i was that used to the FIFA controls it didn't feel quite right. That is until i sat down and really played it, i found out what a superb and realistic game it was (but still a little slow)
This takes me to PES2, all i can say is WOW. The speed of gameplay has been upped and the reactions of the players to my control feel more natural and responsive. This really is an incredible game! There is now the inclusion of the UMBRO training menu which you can chose from various training exerises, the master league has also been updated to make it harder and there is much more to this game than meets the eye. Oh and the commentary is alot better that PES, but it still needs some improvement.
It is easy enough for novices to pick up but PES2 will take you quite a while to master
on 22 October 2002
Right first off this review is going to be a bit one sided as I love the Pro Evolution games.
I have just finished playing the first game after a whole year of ownership (what other game bar goldeneye gave you a years use) and the reason i stopped playing you ask well it was the above mentioned game Pro Evolution 2.
I played the import version about a month ago round a friends house and was amazed at the advancement in graphics, gameplay and options.....but when i finally got my hands on a European version at a recent games show i was taken back.
First off it has the best commentry in any previous Pro Evolution game which is a big plus, they have added loads of small player animations including individual player celebrations (henry runs to the corner flag, owen shouts for joy, beckham grabs his top or spreads his arms wide) and individual player moves (heskey backs into players and uses his body as a shield, Ljungberg always seems to be in the box, Zola is great a curling shots). They have improved the master league giving you a extra league and the option to loan players as well as buy them, you can also now play 2 player master league which i can see taking up alot of my time !!
Another new feature is create a team mode, You can edit all 22 players, the kit, the flag, the special talents (give a player certain celebration/free-kick animation).
I have already booked friday off work to play this game inside out before my mates challenge me at the weekend. Buy this game now if it is anything like as addictive as the first game you are gonna get a good year out of it.
Another note i hear EA are trying to make Fifa 2003 more like Pro Evolution why have the imitation when you can have the original.
Pro Evolution Rules !!
on 31 July 2004
If Championship Manager is (if you don't count the recent debacle) the pinnacle of footy management games, then this surely has to be its on-the-pitch equivalent. I've been lobbying for this series since its modern inception on the PSone, as have many of the more well informed gamers out there. Even if there have been some cack versions - the original PES (I thought) was shocking - it's always been better than Fifa.
In fairness, Fifa 2003 actually isn't that bad. So at least they've raised the bar, to about five-a-side height. Unfortunately for Fifa's motley crew, PES 2 is the best football game ever and this time consumers have noticed. For the first time since the two footballing franchises have clashed, Konami's PES game has outsold EA's Fifa contender. It's not hard to see why
Every year Konami just tinkers a little bit with the game engine in their quest for perfection. Mostly they get it right but occasionally things do go wrong. My mine gripe with PES (1) was the woeful first-time touches players had, generally dribbling control was pretty dire too. Inaccurate passing didn't help things along either, even five yard efforts seem an impossibility. And then there was the artificial intelligence, it was Casio calculator stuff. Players on your team wouldn't move into space and the computer cynically hacked you down whenever possible. Basically it did everything in its power to irritate you.
But to my delight they've sorted it all out again with PES 2. The controls are responsive, the players can now control the ball, and passing plays are fluid and gratifying. You feel as though you're controlling the game this time rather than it controlling you. You can hold onto the ball, wait for options, fire it back to the defence, try and take on the opposition through quick feet. It feels far more open, as it should do.
Single player gaming is much improved and the Master League (a bit like Championship Manager, but you play rather than watch the matches) provides a long and tough challenge - one that you keep coming back too. A diverting training game is included too. It's not exactly a tutorial eye-opener on how to play the game, but the tasks are entertaining and challenging as mini-games in their own right. To get the most out of PES 2, though, grab a couple of extra controllers, find some mates who are pretty rubbish at it and then spend the rest of the evening wiping the floor with them.
The great thing about PES 2 is that novice players can pick up the game quite quickly and be at least a challenge to other, more seasoned players. This isn't because the game's simple with no depth - on the contrary, it has that in abundance - it's because the A.I. levels out the playing field. It brings players back into position, provides obvious passing outlets, gives the goalkeepers excellent but sensible abilities. A player never feels out of his depth even in such a game with thousands of different ways to play the game and score.
There are a few things about the engine I would like to see improved upon. Fouls are still committed too regularly, mostly on an accidental basis - and in a follow up to that, you're a bit stranded with free-kicks around the box as a simple pass will negate your entire defence. Defenders still seem to get a far superior bonus when going up for headers (so crossing isn't as important as it should be), there still isn't the flexibility in long balls that there should be and default formations always seem to adopt a defensive posture - although this can be rectified through the comprehensive formation and strategy editor.
The silly discrepancies still remain too. Commentary is pathetic but hilarious at the same time (the Trevor Brooking heavy breathing sound is a moment to savor). Real player names are inconsistent too. Full England players but no Brazilians and the Dutch secret service pose as the mighty Netherlands (Oranges 007 anyone?). And why is there still no option to replay random moments from the game at the time of your choosing? Silly, but forgivable.
Aesthetically there isn't much difference compared to the original Playstation 2 game. In some ways you could argue that this is nothing more than a patch for PES. As patches go, though, it just about fixes every major issue the original had. If you're only interested in fancy graphics, real player names and face-value style then you'll probably already have Fifa. For football connoisseurs, though, there is only one choice.
With quick reference to Pro Evolution 3. Yes, that is a better game but one that demands some attention and effort to get over its annoying habits. PES 2 is more accessible and easier to play in the first instance but patience in PES 3 has higher rewards.